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Us 9, Boston 5, Paris 3, Seattle 2, San Jose 2, Jack 1, Jack Toumy 1, Beston 1, Staffing 1, Compleated 1, Unsubstageiated 1, Chu 1, Emppir Cal 1, Tep 1, Europe 1, New York 1, Us Gave Us 1, Balboa 1, France 1, Oakland 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    October 29, 2012
    3:30 - 4:00pm PDT  

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sure that needs were met and some ininstituted apps and allows passages to see where vehicles were at all times and other coordinated lights to speed up service. we came away convinced if muni instituted a portion of those suggestions there could be increase in the speed of the system and rider satisfaction as well as lower cost. coming away from the interviews we were eegtory show our findings with muni to see how many suggestions would be tried. unfortunately when jurors attempted to engage with muni as per our charter responsibility we were met with stale rhetoric and managers had speeches and suggested the problems were impossible to fix
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and not in the term of our time. next we were allowed to negotiate with officials and ask a meeting with the scheduling muni manager. we were told that position was currently empty. adding insult to injury it wasn't midpoint in the investigation that we came across a statement from them and tep and transit effective project and shared with us and compleated in 2008 and list of solutions similar to those proposed by transportation consultants with whom we spoke. the muni managers we finally did speak with shared the fact that the 2008tep plan has been halted to budgetary concerns and was now only being partially implemented. in our report we acknowledge the resurrection of
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2008tep as a step forward from muni and encouraged the expansion of it to speed up muni and ways to avoid switchbacks. in summary the 2011-2012 grand jury conducted a survey of other systems and four of which had higher rider satisfaction ratings than muni. we found that the use of switchbacks was not a commonly used practice of all systems and rejected by the managers who felt they're an sult to passengers and rather the other systems use variety and easy and low cost practices to ensure rider satisfaction. many are similar to those identified in muni's 2008
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effectiveness transit project. unfortunately although it has been resurrected it hasn't been updated and recommendations are only being implemented selectively. thank you. >> thank you. just a quick question and thank you for giving the report and no wonder i recognize you in the hall there. how many jurisdictions did you talk to? >> well, we emailed and talked to people in paris because they did comment on our initial go around that everybody in the world uses switch backs and we can emphatically and categorically tell you it's not a smoothing tool for their systems in france. we talked to the people in seattle and boston and the san jose and santa clara area. am i leaving any out? >> [inaudible] >> and we also talked to bart.
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>> [inaudible] >> boston, seattle, yes. new york didn't speak to us. san jose, santa clara, yes. >> [inaudible] >> oakland is the ac. yes. the transit system, the alameda county system and they said emphatically we believe it's an insult to use the switchbacks other than for emergencies and break downs. >> got it. in each of the jurisdictions none of them use switchbacks for traffic smoothing. >> correct. except the one in san jose santa clara who got one of our ex-operation managers, a mr. burns. >> got it. all right. thank you very much. >> thanks jack. we have
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another jack, jack toumy and another grand jury member and summarizing the findings. he will go over our recommendations and again with the responses of the sfmta and the mayor. since the mayor's responses were identical to muni they will be discussed simultaneously. jack. >> hello there. f1, switchbacks violate the spirit of the city charter. the muni said that customers are concerned with on time performance and liability. switchbacks contract to these goals. we. >> >> answer that this response does not really address the findings. the finding was about the spirit of the city charter. page three of the report lists
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the six goals for muni in proposition e from 1999. muni makes unsubstageiated statement that switchbacks increase the reliability of the system. unfortunately they have presented no evidence whatsoever this is true or riders are not negatively impacted from switchbacks. f2, little interest in finding alternatives to switchbacks. muni says our infrastructure limits us in available techniques. this is followed by a list of techniques and move scheduled trains up and "all alternatives have impacts on first passengers". the response the able techniques we listed in our report have been used by other systems. they do not have a negative impact on service reliability because
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they rely on proactive best practices and good plans in order to speed service. dead heading and moving up the schedule are techniques similar to switchbacks in that they're symptomatic and arbitrary and disrupting to passengers and without increasing the speed and the reliability of the system. f3, no evidence that switchbacks will alleviate delay and service. muni relies there is overall ample evidence to this service. our response "if you be so kind please show us -- the mayor and the board of supervisors, whatever evidence you have". f4, muni officials show calious disregard to the welfare of riders. muni responds "we don't order switch
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back unless one is meritd and reduce the impact on customers" and there is response to f1 about on time performance and reliability, and then they site there were only 82 switch backs that occurred in july of 2012 and this is down from the 200 to 400 which they say are quoted in the grand jury report. they state that switch backs are heavily concentrated in off beat times and towards the end of a route. 95% occur when another train is less than five minutes behind. the jury answers. the jury obtained the numbers about switch backs from muni officials. we didn't make them up. we were not given information about the concentration of switchbacks and there are no third party observations to confirm muni's
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belief that riders are not negatively impacted. we believe that rider surveys are needed in order to verify whether the switch backs and other disruptive practices impact passengers. f5 and f6 are both about the comparison to other cities, and muni said "all operators cited in the report operate exclusively on private right-of-ways. muni does not. muni lists five systems that use switch backs in regular transportation" and they said that bart and boston mta use switch backs in the same way and f.d six improvements and alleviate switchbacks with this. the jury responds, "the jury asked muni officials several times to provide a list with
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transit operators to verify the assertion that it's the industry standard. muni kept repeating a generalization and gave up with a list of the controller and of the five other transit operators. the jury assumes that the controller did not cherry pick these five cities and or transit operations. the jury added bart and the paris systems since muni alleged the practice was common in europe. of all the city systems the jury interviewed only santa clara valley transit association supported muni. at the end of the term muni received the report two days before it went public. in those two days apparently muni came up with a list of five like minded transit systems. the jury asks how
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many other systems did you contact during those two days? did you do some cherry picking? we were also like to know how these unreported systems f any, responded to the question? as far as bart and boston mbta are reviewed they stand by their results. muni officials talk out of both of their mouth. on one side they talk about switchbacks as a common transit system and a procedure that could rise to the procedure of best practice. the other side talks about their effort to reduce the switch backs and alleviate their effect on the public. why this second side? because in reality they're close to a worse practice. muni --
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okay. f7. muni fails to fully implement technological improvements. muni says -- they give us a list -- muni gave us a list of improvements that are under way. they say these will reduce the need for switchbacks. the jury answers, "the jury appreciates the efforts being made. we are glad some of these are partially accomplished and others coming in the future. many systems we interviewed had these technologys in place. we would like muni to have a sense of urgency about the improvements and concerned about the term "under way" and completion dates that are years away" . on f8 which concerns a new control center lacking adequate operating personnel and f9 muni has failed to conduct and publish rider survey and
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muni agreed with both of these findings. as far as the recommendations, the first recommendation is to eliminate switchbacks except when unavoidable. muni disagrees with the recommendation reasserting that switch backs are valid and necessary given the operating environment. they have worked on reducing the switchbacks and keeping the public informed and would further denigate service and safety. the jury answers, "that's what we're getting at that muni think it is switch backs are a normal way of business". other transportation systems were aghast, appalled that a transit system could inconvenience their customers
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so cavalierly and we want them to have the feeling that we are doing a good job" when they deem them unavoidable. recommendation two, contact and learn from paris not resorting to switchbacks regularly. muni agrees there is room for improvement and they will reach out to their peers to study their standard operating procedures but note the claim that others are using procedures similar to muni. the jury answers "the jury approves part of the response about contacting peers. we hope that you contact those systems that were on our list. these systems are seen by the controller as being similar to muni, and have higher reliability and passenger ratings than muni. if muni is going to strife for improvement
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and go for systems that do not justify a failed mentality. audit muni funds. the audit has control of the funds and working on tep. as the preferred avenue for service. the jury appreciates muni's response. next is train staff for controlled center. muni says staffing is under way for fiscal year 2013 to be completed by the end of the fiscal year and new communications expected in 2015. the jury expects muni's response and the final recommendation is monthly surveys. muni disagrees with the monthly part. they say
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that are conducting quarterly surveys and will conduct annual survey and perform on board passenger survey in early 2013. the results will be on the muni website. the jury agrees that quarterly surveys would be sufficient and applauds the commitment of muni. we urge miewn tow include questions about switch backs and other service disruptions to address whether muni is in chapt charter requirements with a reliable and transportation system. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. that's the end our report we urge you to accept our findings and recommendations. thank you very much. >> thank you very much for your time and effort on this. i appreciate it. i would ask mta if there a member -- i see
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janet here and come forward to talk to the report and if you want to get as specific as you want that's fine as well. >> thank you mr. chairman, president chiu. i will actually -- did prepare a point by point summary of our response to the recommendations and findings. i am happy to walk you through that, or to make some summary comments or to simply make myself available to questions. whatever the pleasure of the committee is. >> let me just ask you. there seems to be a disagreement about the use of switch backs and maybe you can talk from your point of view why you use them and let's start with that. >> okay. i think in terms of knowing -- we don't get up in the morning and say we have a goal to switchbacks. they're
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service management technique or tactic to make adjustment to recover from a significant delay and for us, and this is when we talked about the grand jury report when we first were briefed on it our concern was this was a lost opportunity, a lost opportunity to talk about muni service. in other words, what are the things that cause delays? what are the things we need to be doing to improve on time performance from crew reliability? what are the specific actions? what are the specific things? that's what we wanted to have. the higher the on time performance the less runs that are missed, the less vehicles break down, there is a less of a need for switchbacks. switchbacks are a symptom to us or a tactic, not part of the
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problem, so when do we use them? we use them when you have a significant break down, delay in service, a delay that might be 15, 20 minutes depending on the line in the headway. most of the switch back review is focused on the rail lines and on the rail line what is we have done with the help and oversight of the board of supervisors we had three or four different hearings on that we have talked about why we need to do them which is -- with our system -- we don't have express tracks. we don't have the ability to plug extra trains into the system, so that if you had for example out bound train that broke down you have to take care of the out bound people but you need to take care of the in bound people so that requires in
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our system provides taking that out bound train into in bound train if you're the people and that's when we talk about switchbacks benefiting service and that's what we mean and what we try to do with switchbacks and a number of steps taken to improve it. first of all the first source of complaints is poor communication that riders get on the train and don't know where it's going. we have done a number of things over the last 12 months. number one, we improved the signage and it matches. we continued to work with our operators to try to improve their communication in making announcement and help and support them from the control center. number two we have, and we monitor closely and we provide supervisor chu a monthly letter on the number of switchbacks, the time of day,
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and where they occur and how far a train is behind that switch back, and well over 90% of the case there is is a train within five minutes. that's our policy. that's our practice. that's what we're doing n terms of the locations we try to make switchbacks at the end of the line. we recognize and have been candid and up front that switchbacks have an impact. no one wants to do switchbacks but what for us what we have to weigh is the impact of this opposed to turning a train and helping a greater mass of people going in the other direction. that's the kind of adjustments we're making and whenever possible we make this and the evidence shows that we make the switch bax overwhelming after rush hour and for example in the month of september, and this is in the letter that we have
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provided to supervisor chu we had 180 switch backs and less than.5% of the service and not everyday you're switching 200, 300 trains. in september 20, 30% happened on september 19 and 20 and those were days we had significant disruption in the subway because of infrastructure problems so most of the switchbacks result from significant delays because of vehicles, sometimes multiple vehicles breaking down or infrastructure and train control or signal issue, those kinds of things or a giants' celebration and have a number of switchbacks for service. >> let me ask you a question. is it fair to ask that the
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theory for you behind switchbacks and improve for the greater number and implement it and we have heard stories of people pushed off trains early and how generally how you guys approach it? >> yes, i think that's fair. >> so what do you say to the people that are sent off the train early? >> i think a number of things. first you try to communicate effectively and quickly with them. if the train turn at sunset and not all the way out to ocean beach and let them know as early as possible this train is going to sunset only. then you have -- and you keep repeating that. you let people getting on do that and communicate continually and make sure like we have been doing have a following train less than five minutes behind it and if
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you're asked to get off and we recognize it's an inconvenience and there is a second train behind it so we're not stranding people. >> okay. a few of the other things. you talk about statistical evidence and alleviating delays and scheduling. do you have any statistical evidence? that's one of the findings. i know that you disagreed with it. is there emppir cal evidence intrp? >> if we go through september and the switchbacks you have to go through because every one is different, and the relative benefit of the switch back in terms of schedule time -- if you took each of the incidents and walk through them and okay we switch a j line train at 30th and church and had accident at
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balboa and people ran regular service downtown and each of the incidents we could point to the scheduled benefit was, and you have to look at these things again. these are a recovery technique, so they're not something that we go in and plan everyday and we're going to have 15 -- our target is 15 switchbacks. our target is ten. >> that seems like anecdotal evidence. did you provide the grand jury with empirical evidence? those are the findings here. i am asking about that. >> like i said we don't agree with that particular finding but if you go down, and we provided substantial amount of information, notebooks, discs, but we are happy to go through each of the incidents and took a particular month, and again took september and 182 switchbacks. here's the benefit to doing
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them. here's what happened, and also the other point is this is what would happen if we didn't do them. there is the suggestion if we didn't do switchbacks it would result in better service, and i would argue it would be abcasion of our responsibility because we in effect would be faced with a delay, and we would be in effect doing nothing, allowing a train to go and again not to use the n line, but if you had out bound delay and allow trains to go out and three or four trains at the beach and someone at sun set looking to go in bound and "where is my service". >> but in the long time they have looked at this have you shared the evidence with them? there is a disconnect and
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they're saying they haven't received anything and you say it exists. >>i am happy to provide a written record of it and go through the fashion we just described and the benefits of the switch backs. >> i don't know if i'm going to ask them that but my question is why isn't this done already? this is the ultimate review of the report. >> i honestly don't know the answer to that. >> all right. last question around other transit systems and seems another disconnect and other transit systems that use it and they have talked to them and all except san jose, santa clara don't use them so are there other transit systems that you're specifically aware that do and question seems like they never got that information and wanted to ask you about that? >> yes. i can speak to from
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first hand experience on a couple of those i was the general manager in boston at there and i am aware of the operating practices there, and it's beston and pick the government center and the green line -- several lines go into the green line and trains frequently switched there. that is just one example. we also reached out after we saw the initial report that said that others did not do switchbacks. we reached out to other transit systems that we listed in our response that owls do switchbacks so again the same caveat. all of the other transit systems will tell you would they prefer not to do switchbacks? yes they would. in some cases, in the case of bart they have tracks and they can do other things but they
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also do switch backs and schedule them everyday as well, so in our view and base some of our personal experiences and discussions with others, other systems do use switch backs. >> okay. maybe i will ask the grand jury this as well, but from your point of view were these not jurisdictions communicating to them during the course of their investigation? >> i did not see that until the finding so we were briefed on the findings and they were very open about the findings and they provided -- they were kind enough -- and we appreciate. they gave a walk through of the findings and wrote them up and the walk through that they gave us gave us the opportunity -- they were very professional. it gave us the opportunity to complent and what we said at the time we disagreed i think the first seven

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